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58 Reviews
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of those indispensible web-design books!
These days, with applications such as "Flash" and "Frontpage" being used to put all the bells and whistles on applications, most wouldn't give a second thought to this book. This is unfortunate. This book is without a doubt the most important book anyone who has a background in HTML can pick up. It deals in great depth with the W3C CSS 1.0 standard,...
Published on July 26 2001 by salexa

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3.0 out of 5 stars Great depth, poor editing
No doubt about it, Eric Meyer knows CSS inside and out! This book should be a fantastic reference for people who really want to explore the power of CSS.
Unfortunately the editing is so poor in many areas that you have to work through examples on your computer to see the effects being described. Screen shots are used to illustrate coding examples, but details which...
Published on May 26 2004 by M. Wood


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of those indispensible web-design books!, July 26 2001
By 
"salexa" (Toronto, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
These days, with applications such as "Flash" and "Frontpage" being used to put all the bells and whistles on applications, most wouldn't give a second thought to this book. This is unfortunate. This book is without a doubt the most important book anyone who has a background in HTML can pick up. It deals in great depth with the W3C CSS 1.0 standard, which allows the web designer to customize and standardize their pages to the minutest detail. I was surprised at how comprehensive this book was since it showed me how to do everything from creating lists bulleted with custom images to layering text/images on top of one another. The use of external cascading style sheets allowed me to create elaborate "standard" pages that could be updated by merely changing the stylesheet file. This concept is carried further in eXtensible Style Sheet language (XSL) and therefore is probably the best introduction to XML, before actually beginning to read up on XML! One thing in particular (among many!) about this book that I liked was the extensive use of screenshots to illustrate the effects of various scripts, something often missing from O'Reilly books. After reading this excellent tutorial/reference, read "JavaScript, the Definitive Guide", and "Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Reference" to learn how to create powerful client-side web pages (pop-up images, pop-down menus, etc.). Throw out FrontPage and really begin developing!
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1.0 out of 5 stars This is the old edition. It was a 5-star book 4 years ago., July 19 2004
By 
Clay Mckinney (Dickson, TN United States) - See all my reviews
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Eric Meyer is the master. This edition is way out of date. Instead, buy Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition. It explains everything about CSS2 in detail. For examples and workflow, buy Eric Meyer on CSS and More Eric Meyer on CSS. Just don't buy this outdated version of The Definitive Guide.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource, June 28 2004
By 
C. M. Lowry (Columbia JUG, Columbia, SC USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide (Paperback)
The subtitle claims this volume is the definitive guide, I believe it. This book provides comprehensive coverage of the current cascading style sheets specification and how it is being of being implemented (or not). The focus is on the CSS2 and CSS2.1 specs. My first impression of the book was that it would be a valuable reference manual, but as I began to read it, I soon realized it would serve as a great instructional source also. The writing style is as if a good friend sat down to explain style sheets. I found the pacing of the material to appropriate and the detail of the explanations to be exhaustive.
The chapter on selectors (chapter 2) was extremely valuable for me. It helped me to understand why some things did not work as I thought they should. Throughout the book, differences between the specification and the implementation in certain products are explained. Additionally, the differences between various levels of CSS are highlighted. The book has numerous examples for the CSS elements and variations.
This is a great book on CSS, but I wish that electronic versions of the examples were available. This is the only shortcoming of the book that I see. This book is a great tutorial and a valuable reference. Regular practice of the techniques contained within this volume can assist the reader in voiding the abuse of the table and fonts tags.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great depth, poor editing, May 26 2004
By 
M. Wood (Boulder, CO USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide (Paperback)
No doubt about it, Eric Meyer knows CSS inside and out! This book should be a fantastic reference for people who really want to explore the power of CSS.
Unfortunately the editing is so poor in many areas that you have to work through examples on your computer to see the effects being described. Screen shots are used to illustrate coding examples, but details which would help the reader interpret the picture are often left out. For example, when looking at an explanation of overlapping elements, you may be left to figure out whether a space between two lines of text is 20 pixels or 30 pixels wide when there is no reference of scale in the picture. You have to guess or try it out yourself.
When a series of examples are used to illustrate a concept, there is a lack of consistency in the example code. Instead of only changing the one element or parameter being discussed, a similar, but different, example is used so you can't simply look at two successive illustrations to see the effect of the change. In a few cases, whole lines of example code are missing. Probably lost in the shuffle while moving Figures and blocks of text to get the page layout right.
That said, there is a wealth of information here if you are willing to work a little to get it. I would still highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to seriously dive into CSS -- but if all you are looking for is an introduction or a basic reference, there are probably less frustrating sources out there.
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2.0 out of 5 stars sloppy, useless, incomplete, redundant, conflicting, May 23 2004
By 
Paul van Bemmelen (Den Haag, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide (Paperback)
Working my way through this book, I found that on almost every page I would be scribbling remarks about sloppy, useless, incomplete, redundant, sometimes even conflicting pieces of text.
Admitted, there is a lot of information in this book, but there is a great deal missing as well. When describing some CSS feature, usually first a brief (incomplete) definition is given, and then the feature is further explained by giving examples. Working your way through the examples, and combining remarks spread out over several pages, you usually find that not all aspects of the feature are covered. You'll still need to consult the specification at [...] . And that spec comes with better examples, as well.
Save your money, buy some other book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A solid reference manual..., April 14 2004
By 
Thomas Duff "Duffbert" (Portland, OR United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide (Paperback)
Target Audience
Web developers who need a comprehensive guide on the use of CSS1 and CSS2 technology.
Contents
This book is an extensive guide on cascading style sheet technology, specifically the CSS1 and CSS2 specifications.
The book is divided into the following chapters:
CSS and Documents; Selectors; Structure and the Cascade; Values and Units; Fonts; Text Properties; Basic Visual Formatting; Padding, Borders, and Margins; Colors and Backgrounds; Floating and Positioning; Table Layout; Lists and Generated Content; User Interface Styles; Non-Screen Media; Property Reference; Selector, Pseudo-Class, and Pseudo-Element Reference; Sample HTML 4 Style Sheet; Index
Review
Most of my development work is not concentrated on the user interface. To date, I've been able to live with just a minimal amount of HTML and JavaScript knowledge. But more and more I'm being drawn into web design work, and CSS is playing a significant part in that. In order to have the information I need to do my job, I got a copy of this book and I'm glad I did.
Meyer does a nice job in balancing the material between code examples, reference to cover all the parameters, and example output to show what the code will do. I think the last part is very important, as it allows you to visualize the type of effects a certain command will have, and from there you can start to apply it to your own web site. I am undecided as to whether this would make a good first tutorial for someone just learning CSS. For me, it's a better reference guide once you have some basic CSS understanding.
There is one formatting decision that the author made in the second edition that some might find irritating. He decided that to keep the book from growing too large, the information about which browsers support which features would be dropped from the print version. You can get that information from the online web site, so it's not like you're left in the cold. But if that information is important to you and you want one-stop reading, this book might not be what you want.
Conclusion
A solid reference manual on CSS that you will use for coding examples, parameter reference, and visual examples of the effects you can obtain.
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2.0 out of 5 stars 2nd Edition, March 2004. Stay away from it!, April 11 2004
By 
This review is from: Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide (Paperback)
It's the last O'Reilly book I get!
This "guide" does not mention what elements are supported by what browsers. Doesn't even mention what is part of the CSS1 or CSS2 standards! (it only mentions these items sometimes within the text, but nowhere else, not even in the pourly formatted reference at the end of the book).
It does a good job detailing how to use the elements but that's about it.
I think that Thomas Powell's "HTML & XHTML, The Complete Reference" does a excellent job explaining CSS and certainly has a better CSS reference in the 2 chapters dedicated to CSS (it's an XHTML book after all, so don't get it if all you need is CSS).
I have not checked other books written by Meyer but this 2nd edition is not a "Definite Guide"!
Check your bookstore and do a good comparison before spending money on this book!
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1.0 out of 5 stars completely useless, April 1 2004
By 
R. Flynn (CT, USA) - See all my reviews
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i work as a programmer and occasionally have to get my hands into the design aspect of things, usually cleaning up templates designers have made in some crap gui tool. i understand the basics of css already, i just needed something to outline the syntax and concepts in css2 and then just function as a reference. this book did neither, and i've found it to be a complete waste.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Latest version is now out (Mar, 2004), March 26 2004
By 
This review is from: Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide (Paperback)
Make sure you get the latest version (ISBN#: 0-596-00525-3) which was released in March of 2004.
Some other reviews discuss the fact that this book is out of date. It WAS, but not any more.
Definitely look into this book as your reference for the latest in Cascading Style Sheets by THE guru of CSS.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Explanation of CSS, Jan. 24 2004
By 
Though I had a basic knowledge of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), I did not know the full power of them. CSS has the ability to do many things, but basically the strength of it over plain HTML is that you are able to define a "style" to be applied to your whole website. To change the look and feel, you simply change a few lines in your style sheet and your whole site is updated. CSS can be used even if you have a site that consists of just one page.
Eric Meyer's book will put you on your way to using CSS. A basic knowledge of HTML is helpful to understand the first part of the book. He jumps into the book as if this was a sequel to a book he just finished on HTML. He takes for granted that you understand how pages are built.
Typical of many technical books, the information is often repeated so that you can jump into any chapter and get the basic information of how to make it work. That said, I only found one place in the book where he actually tells you how to link to a style sheet. Therefore, you need to read much of the introductory material.
If you have an understanding of CSS and this is going to be a reference work, you will not be disappointed.
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Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide by Eric A. Meyer (Paperback - March 25 2004)
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